When Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell first met at confectionary school, they recognized in each other not only a mutual love of baking, but a shared work ethic strong enough to become the foundation for a business partnership that would change Toronto’s bakery scene. Enter Bobbette & Belle; what began as a French macaron side-business in 2008 quickly evolved into two pastel-hued bakeshops purveying pitch-perfect renditions of classic homemade treats, and now, an elegant cookbook, entitled Bobbette & Belle: Classic Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop, home bakers can use to replicate them.
“We are firm believers in not overcomplicating things,” explains Bell of Bobbette & Belle’s core ethos. “We like classic flavours, like chocolate and caramel, or caramel and fleur de sel, and want to evoke the feelings of nostalgia we have for our childhoods, baking things like basic cookies and cupcakes.” “Often, prefab foods look lovely but you bite into them and they taste like sugar; they don’t have that home-quality taste,” adds Bobbitt. “We hope people will taste our, say, carrot cake, and realize, ‘oh, this is what this was supposed to taste like all along!’”
The cookbook is comprised of about 70 per cent recipes for goods sold in store, so those hoping to emulate bestsellers like chocolate-hazelnut cake or apple crumble with caramel are in luck, though some surprises appear (all with full-colour photography, because who wants to make recipes not accompanied by pictures in this day and age?).
And yes, Bobbitt and Bell assure readers these are in fact their real recipes—no “secret ingredients” omitted. Just good, honest recipes from their ovens to yours.
Try Bobbette & Belle’s recipe for sticky toffee pudding, here.